Justin McDowell

Bauhaus in the Browser


Until recently, design on the web has been limited to fragile, horizontal, and boxy layouts. Today there are new tools in CSS that can help us breathe new life into stale projects. Some of them are cutting edge, while others are quite mature yet still under-used. This talk is centered around the use of emerging CSS tools: grid, shapes, transforms, viewport units, and others.

Attendees will get a showcase of how these new digital techniques can be applied to the web by journeying back to the past to one of the most notable periods in the history of design: Bauhaus modernism. During this period, design was highly influential yet gleefully experimental, with strict geometry, overlapping elements, and rotated text. Attendees will see works by artist Piet Mondrian, typographer Jan Tschichold, dadaist Kurt Schwitters, and metal-worker Marianne Brandt recreated or redesigned on screen, and optimized for the new medium of mobile devices. By the end, they will have practical examples of how to mix these new tools together to solve old design problems in novel ways—using wisdom from the Bauhaus school.

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